GRAND FORKS — Prairie Business is trying something new for its awards ceremony this year: a video presentation.

Each year the Grand Forks-based magazine, which circulates in the Dakotas and western Minnesota, honors accomplished business professionals in its Top 25 Women in Business, 40 Under 40, and Leaders & Legacies award categories. Individuals are nominated by their peers, employees and coworkers and selected by Prairie Business staff.

The magazine has hosted a recognition event for five years, with attendance growing annually to approximately 200 last year. But this year, a change was necessary.

“In the past, we have held this event in the posh environments of regional convention centers, but this year due to the pandemic, that is, unfortunately, impossible,” Prairie Business Publisher Korrie Wenzel explains in the video. “Thus the first ever Prairie Business digital recognition event.”

Korrie Wenzel is publisher of the Grand Forks Herald.
Korrie Wenzel is publisher of the Grand Forks Herald.

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The 33-minute video begins with a brief musical presentation by Billy Lurken, a musician from Mitchell, S.D., who has been the featured musician at the past two in-person Prairie Business parties. As Lurken performs, photos from last year’s event at The Avalon in Fargo are shown.

After that, the magazine profiles the winners of its various awards, including 40 Under 40, Top 25 Women in Business and Leaders & Legacies. The latter category includes brief speeches from most of the 10 winners.

This is the second year for Leaders & Legacies, the most prestigious award bestowed by Prairie Business. This year’s 10 Leaders & Legacies winners are Dean Anagnost, Bismarck; Ben Carlsrud, Fargo; Verne Dosch, Mandan; David Doxtad, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Tom Erickson, Grand Forks; Brenda K. Foster, Minot; John Kutch, Minot; Kristi Magnuson Nelson, Grand Forks; Randy Newman, Grand Forks; and Gary Petersen, Bismarck.

Leaders & Legacies winners are selected considering "the great things they have done in business, whether in recent years (Leaders) or over a lifetime (Legacies)," Wenzel said.

In total, 75 awards are presented during the Prairie Business video, which is sponsored by First International Bank and Trust, TrueNorth Steel, Marco and Office Sign Company.